TÜV-Report 2018: One in five vehicles fails the inspection

VdTÜV presents results of latest used car guide +++ German manufacturers take the top spots once again +++ Average defect rate at the same level as last year at 19.9% +++ The future of the periodic technical inspection is digital
TÜV Report 2018 Titelbild Web
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No car has less defects: The Mercedes SLK comes out on top for the age group of three-year vehicles in the 2018 TÜV-Report. Technical Inspection Agencies (TÜV) found defects in a total of one third of all cars, with one in five failing the periodic technical inspection (PTI). These are the most important findings of the 2018 TÜV-Report, which the Association of Technical Inspection Agencies (VdTÜV) presented today in Berlin. The TÜV-Report provides a comprehensive review of the strengths and weaknesses of the 225 most common passenger car models on German roads. For this purpose, the TÜV experts analysed more than 10 million periodic technical inspections from July 2016 to June 2017. Almost nine million of those results were factored into Germany’s leading used car guide. 

Winners and losers

With a significant defect rate of two percent, the Mercedes SLK takes the lead in the three-year cars category, and the company’s B-Class is also on the winner’s podium in the five-year range. The first-place spots for older vehicles go to another Swabian manufacturer; the Porsche 911 wins in the seven- to eleven-year ranges. The cars with the most defects are the Kia Sportage (three years), the Peugeot 206 (five years), the Chevrolet Aveo (seven years), the Chevrolet Matiz (nine years) and the Ford Ka/Ford Galaxy (11 years). “We’d like to congratulate the winners. The manufacturers Mercedes and Porsche remain state of the art in the 2018 TÜV-Report,” reported VdTÜV CEO Joachim Bühler

Old vehicles with high defect rate

The average rate of serious defects across all age ranges is 19.9 percent, a slight increase of 0.2 points compared to the last TÜV-Report. Two thirds (66.1 percent) of inspected vehicles were without defect. “The defect rate is still five percentage points lower than it was in 2014,” explained Joachim Bühler, “but our aim has to be to reduce the defect rate in the medium term and, above all, in the long term.” On the other hand, the gap between newer and older vehicles is striking. While the average defect rate for two- to three-year used cars in Germany is several times below average at 5.8 percent, the opposite is true for older cars. With increasing age, incidences of safety and environmental deficiencies increase dramatically: more than a quarter (26.5 percent) of all vehicles over the age of 11 have significant defects, and the number reaches almost 40 percent for the worst offenders.

Taking defects seriously 

In particular, the TÜV experts often report defective lighting, deficient brakes, chassis problems, loss of oil and damaged exhaust systems. “None of these deficiencies should be taken lightly,” according to Bühler. “A combination of missing lights and worn brakes can have fatal consequences, especially during seasons when there is less daylight.” Therefore, it is important to schedule regular inspection appointments and visit a qualified specialist workshop. Only two thirds of all vehicles fully comply with safety and environmental requirements. Without PTI, all the others would still pose a risk to road safety and environmental protection. 

Software updates are checked

The PTI assigns four defect categories: “Without defects”, “Minor defects” (seal is issued, but defect must be repaired), “Significant defects” (seal is not issued, defect must be repaired within four weeks) and “Unsafe for traffic” (vehicle is decommissioned immediately). In addition, starting this year, the following new regulation applies: Vehicles requiring a software update will be found to have a significant defect if said update is not performed. The update must then be performed within four weeks. “We therefore strongly recommend that all eligible vehicle owners update their software whenever prompted,” explained Bühler. “That way, they’ll be on the safe side during inspection.”

Bits and bytes enter the PTI 

Technology in automobiles is developing rapidly. Digitisation, autonomous driving and alternative drives also require a new definition of safety requirements for all road users. “In the future, it will no longer be all about oil and rust, but primarily about bits and bytes,” explained Bühler. It would be an important step to rapidly implement the expanded European requirements for vehicle monitoring. The regulation on the periodic technical inspection of vehicles has not yet come into effect in Germany. According to Bühler, “The newly-elected German government will need to establish effective rules for road safety and environmental protection in the digital age.” This includes testing software versions of safety-relevant electronic components. High demands must also be made on data protection and IT security in order to effectively protect vehicles against data misuse and hacker attacks. With its “Automotive Platform”, VdTÜV has already presented the concept of a highly secure communication platform that is uniformly integrated into the cars.

Germany’s leading used car guide 

For almost 50 years, the TÜV-Report has been an independent source for consumers, manufacturers and politicians when it comes to the technical condition of cars in Germany. It provides a clear indication of the strengths and weaknesses of individual vehicle models. “We provide consumers with neutral and reliable information for buying used cars,” explained Joachim Bühler. “At the same time, we provide manufacturers with valuable data to improve the quality of their vehicles and thus contribute to increasing road safety.”

The TÜV-Report is Germany’s most important used car guide. “We want to give consumers reliable information in a magazine-style format on what to look out for when buying a used car,” explained editor-in-chief Hartmut Müller-Gerbes. “Above all, we want to provide them with advice that is independent of possible interests of manufacturers, workshops or dealers. That is what the TÜV trade mark stands for like no other.”

The TÜV-Report 2018 will be available as a special edition of AutoBild from 10 November 2017 at newsagents and TÜV stations everywhere for the price of €4.90. It is published by VdTÜV in cooperation with TÜV Hessen, TÜV NORD, TÜV Rheinland, TÜV SÜD and TÜV Thüringen.

More information at www.vdtuev.de/en

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